Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine

New Year, New Ways with Chicken

courtesy of Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine

Chicken is what I’m turning to now for lighter post-holiday meals. Not only is it a naturally low-fat, high-protein food, its mild flavor makes it perfect in recipes with fresh herbs and bold spices where it can soak up all the aromatics. I’m also starting the new year with some new recipes—it’s time to liven up the idea of chicken for dinner.


Whenever I make a new recipe (especially if it requires unique spices) I first give it a full read-through. Then, in order to save time,  I assemble and organize all my ingredients, creating my mis en place (a French cooking term that literally means “put in place”).


I love chicken wings. So for a fun twist on game night, I made these Thai Green Curry Hot Wings. You get a nice pop of flavor from the curry and a perfectly crispy texture without the fryer. The wings are baked at a high temperature without a lot of oil. I served this with a squeeze of lime alongside coconut rice. For an easy version of  coconut rice, I substitute half of the cooking liquid with coconut milk, which imparts a richer, creamier texture to the rice. And since coconut milk is a healthy fat, you can enjoy it in good conscience. It’s not an everyday indulgence, but delicious on occasion.


Moroccan Chicken Wings are made with a blend of cloves, cardamom, paprika, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes, (along with lemon juice, garlic, and brown sugar) for a complexly flavored wing takes the all-American snack on an exotic flight.


This time of year, it’s also important to fortify our immune systems, and what better way to do that than by cooking up a big pot of chicken soup. I do it weekly! And for good reason: my grandmother has always called chicken soup “nature’s penicillin.” (We hear it’s also good for the soul.) There’s always chicken-noodle soup or chicken with vegetables. You can even get creative and make a Mexican-inspired Tortilla Chicken Soup for a variation. It’s a recipe at the top of my list for its bright flavors (helped with a squeeze of lime juice), along with chili powder and jalapeño peppers. Or how about Chicken and Noodles in Spiced Broth, with ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon, and star anise, which is believed to fight colds.


I’m always looking for new and delicious chicken soup variations to get me through the winter so let me know if you have any of your own personal favorites!


Warm yourself up with these chicken soup recipes!


Want to cook better? Watch Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine’s fabulous how-to videos on Better TV.





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